I went to the wedding on Saturday night of one of my wife's best friends. The reception, at the Newsroom Pub, was great fun, and while the ladies rocked out on the impromptu dance floor, us dudes sat at our tables, watching and kibitzing.
"It's sort of like an eighth grade dance, isn't it?" said the guy sitting next to me.
His next question proved to be the topic for this blog.
"Hey, I read your stuff on OnMilwaukee.com," he said. "I always wonder how you come up with different ideas for stories and blogs."
"Well, it's not always easy to 'feed the beast' every week," I answered honestly. "But I look at every experience and ask myself if it's blog-worthy."
I paused, pulled out my iPhone camera and snapped a dark photo of people dancing.
"Sort of like tonight. Why is that people will make a dance floor out of any flat surface and bust a move?"
It's not really a deep question, but I'm always amused to watch people dance at weddings. At the drop of a hat, a bunch of guests will inevitably jump to their feet and start shakin' it until they're hauled off the dance floor.
I, for the record, will only dance when forced to or if the song really, really moves me. It's a hang-up of mine that I'm not especially proud of.
My wife, on the other hand, is totally sincere when she says, "There are two things I will do with little or no prompting: dance and put on a costume. Sometimes both at the same time."
Though dancing isn't really my thing, I'm heartened to see people doing it. Even when the dance floor isn't a dance floor, and the music is just an iPod plugged into speakers, it's obvious that weddings make people happy, and happy people dance.
Americans should dance more often.
And not just at weddings.
Hey, maybe even I would dance more, and without the need of any liquid persuasion, if the activity wasn't confined to weddings and clubs. I've been to my share of clubs over the years, and at 35 years old, I feel silly at every one one of them, save Friday retro dance parties at The Mad Planet.
The whole thing reminds me a little of my trip to the Dominican Republic in 2006. Walking down the streets of Santo Domingo, I noticed that some sort of salsa music blared out of every home and business. And people danced. In the streets. At home. At restaurants. Everywhere.
Americans, myself in particular, are far too stuffy for that much dancing. Why?
Why not, really? Life's too short not to make an ass of yourself on a dance floor. Even if that dance floor is a tiny clearing in the middle of a restaurant. I for one, pledge to dance a little more in 2010.
Andy is the founder and co-owner of OnMilwaukee.com. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.